A brand new medical device called “Lumma” is expected to improve the way people manage their medications, according to it developer. Studies show that as much as 70% of Americans regularly take prescription drugs and about 50% regularly take vitamins and supplements. While many use pill boxes and some use mobile apps to manage medications, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated 40% of people struggle to stick to their prescribed regimens. Mismanaging medications can have disastrous effects on one’s health and, moreover, it drains the U.S. health system of an estimated $300 billion annually.
Lumma is the first system, for home use, that completely automates the medication experience. The Lumma device automates sorting and dispensing of pills, while a companion mobile application will notify the individual when it is time to take his/her medications and keeps track of how the individual is doing. Lumma was created by a biomedical tech startup, Life Integrating Technologies and Experiences (LITE).
How it Works
Lumma uses a sophisticated, proprietary and patent-pending set of mechanics to automate the sorting and dispensing of pills. The mechanics were designed to be able to sort and dispense any and all FDA-approved pills. When loading a new medication into the device, all you need to do is enter the name of the pill, select the dosage, frequency of doses and a time. The last step is simply to pour in the entire bottle of pills into the device; Lumma does the rest.
Lumma currently comes in two models: Model 6 and Model 12. Model 6 can hold up to a 3-month supply of 6 different types of pills, while Model 12 can hold up to a 3-month supply of 12 different types of pills.
When it is time to take the pills, the Lumma device will light up and an alarm will go off. The mobile app can also alert an individual on her/his phone. After password verification, the device will mechanically release the proper dosages of pills and notify the individual if there are any interactions between his/her medications. Additionally, one can track her/his dosage history, adherence rates and other pertinent information on the device or a mobile phone.
“Nowadays, people get prescriptions from multiple doctors and have to organize and track their pills by themselves,” said Jason Littman, co-founder of LITE. “Most use an array of websites or the tedious pharmacy pamphlet as a guide. But there is still a disconnect and layer of complexity in the medication experience that Lumma solves.”
Peace of Mind
Lumma was also designed to aid loved ones. An individual can setup the system for parents, grandparents or other loved ones, and then monitor if they took their medications. In the coming months, LITE plans on rolling out a special health provider portal, so physicians and nurses will easily be able to track their patients’ adherence.
“As my grandparents have been getting older, they’ve been having a harder and harder time taking their medications,” said Terence O’Shea, co-founder of LITE. “Lumma is affordable and will let me know if my grandparents forgot to take their medications.”
The average senior citizen in America takes more medications than ever before. On average, they take more than five different pills daily, not including over-the-counter drugs or supplements. Some people have a visiting nurse service come to their house to make sure they take their pills. This service alone can cost thousands of dollars.
“It solves a number of issues. For example, my one grandmother takes two pills that look very similar. When she sorts her pills for the week in those little plastic Sunday-to-Saturday pill holders, she sometimes forgets which pill she just put in. She has the choice of making a 50/50 call on doubling up on one medication and missing the other, or throwing out 7 pills that cost nearly $20 each. With Lumma, we never have to worry about grandma having to make this decision again,” O’Shea said.
Lumma is in development and testing, but plans on revealing more specs and a release date soon.
Life Integrating Technologies and Experiences